Valerie Bertinelli is opening up about Eddie Van Halen’s final moments.
This week, People published excerpts from the Food Network star’s new memoir Enough Already: Learning To Love The Way I Am Today.
“I loved Ed more than I know how to explain,” Bertinelli writes in the book. “I loved his soul.”
The former couple were married from 1981 until 2007.
“We were portrayed as a mismatch,” she says of their early years together. “The bad boy rock star and America’s sweetheart but privately, Ed wasn’t the person people thought he was and neither was I.”
She adds, “I hated the drugs and the alcohol but I never hated him. I saw his pain.”
Also in the book, Bertinelli writes about Van Halen stopping by her home on Thanksgiving Day in 2019, where he took her aside to give her the gift of a pendant-sized gold bar he got in Germany while receiving cancer treatment.
“I hope you don’t think it’s weird, you know, that I bought my ex-wife this gift and didn’t get my wife anything. I just love you,” he told her.
“He wants me to know he messed up [during our marriage],” Bertinelli says. “I contributed to our troubles too and I am also sorry.”
Before his death in October 2020 at age 65, Bertinelli and their son Wolfgang were by Van Halen’s bed every day, up to his final breath.
She writes: “I spend Friday night sitting on the bed next to Ed. For a while, it is just the two of us. ‘Maybe next time, right?’ I say. Both of us are crying. ‘Maybe next time we’ll get it right.’ Tuesday morning Wolfie calls and tells me that Ed’s breathing has changed and that I have to get to the hospital ASAP. ‘I love you’ are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me, and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing.”